Johns Hopkins-Albany Men's Lacrosse Notes
April 2, 2009
The Game: Johns Hopkins (3-4) returns home to host Albany (6-2) looking to snap a three-game losing streak. The Blue Jays enter the game ranked 11th, while the Great Danes are ranked 18th.
A Look Back: Johns Hopkins dropped its third straight game overall and second straight in agonizing fashion as the Blue Jays battled back from a 6-2 third quarter deficit, only to a fall to North Carolina, 10-9, last Saturday in Chapel Hill. Albany scored the final three goals in a 9-8 victory over Hartford on Wednesday night.
These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week's game against Albany with an all-time record of 885-282-15 (.755). The Blue Jays own nine NCAA titles, 29 USILA titles and six ILA titles for a total of 44 national championships.
That's 603 Games Over .500: Despite the loss at North Carolina, the Blue Jays' all-time record is now 885-282-15 (.755) ... that's 603 games over .500. To put this in perspective: JHU has played an average of just over 15 games per season under head coach Dave Pietramala. Using a 15-game season as a reference, if the Blue Jays posted a 5-10 record for 120 straight seasons, they would still be three games over .500.
Program Ties: Johns Hopkins welcomes one of its own to Homewood Field as Albany head coach Scott Marr is a 1991 JHU graduate and was a member of the Blue Jays' 1987 NCAA Championship team. He played with current JHU head coach Dave Pietramala and associate head coach Bill Dwan.
April Reign: Flipping the calendar to April has usually been a good sign for the Blue Jays, who won four-of-five games in April last season to jump-start their run to the national championship game. The Blue Jays are 36-4 (.900) under head coach Dave Pietramala in games played in April. JHU is 20-2 at home in April under Pietramala's guidance and 16-2 on the road.
A Brutal Stretch: This week's game against 18th-ranked Albany is the seventh straight for the Blue Jays against teams currently ranked in the top 20 in the nation. Using this week's USILA Coaches Poll as a reference, the Blue Jays played fifth-ranked Princeton, sixth-ranked UMBC, seventh-ranked Hofstra, second-ranked Syracuse, top-ranked Virginia, and 12th-ranked North Carolina in their last six games. All six of those teams were ranked in the top 12 in the nation at the time of the game.
Closing on 100: JHU head coach Dave Pietramala continues to close in on his 100th career victory at Johns Hopkins. The Blue Jays are now 99-29 (.773) on his watch (he's 122-46 (.726) overall) and he needs just one win to become the third coach in school history to win 100 games (Bob Scott-158, Henry Ciccarone-105).
Poll Position: Johns Hopkins enters this week's game against Albany ranked 11th in the USILA Coaches Poll. The Blue Jays are also ranked 11th in the Inside Lacrosse/Nike Media Poll. Albany is ranked 18th in the Coaches Poll and 18th in the Media Poll.
More Poll Position: Records indicate that the USILA began sponsoring a weekly coaches poll during the 1973 season. Since then there have been 352 weekly polls. Amazingly, Johns Hopkins has been ranked in the top 20 in all 352 of those polls and has been in the top 10 in 340 of the 352. Below is a breakdown of the Blue Jays' in the USILA Coaches Poll since its inception on March 19, 1973:
Total Weeks: 352
Poll Notes: In some years a preseason poll was not conducted In some years a preseason poll was conducted, but the second poll of that season may have been held until after several weeks of the season passed In some years a poll was conducted after the NCAA Tournament.
Lucky Number Nine: Years ending with the number nine have been kind to the Blue Jays since the program's inception in 1883. Johns Hopkins has played 13 seasons in years ending in nine (including 2009) and has compiled a 92-23-2 record with seven national championships in those 13 years. The Blue Jays also played in the 1989 national championship game and advanced to the final four in 1999.
Streaking: Johns Hopkins is 76-20 in its last 96 regular season games dating back to the end of the 2001 season and is 91-25 overall since the start of the 2002 season.
Attack Emerges: With the loss of standouts Paul Rabil and Stephen Peyser at midfield, it was no secret that the Blue Jay offense was likely to become more attack oriented. While the group was held in check in the losses to Princeton and UNC, it has more than held its own thus far. Starters Steven Boyle, Kyle Wharton and Chris Boland combined for seven goals and five assists against UMBC, seven goals and two assists against Hofstra, six goals and six assists at Syracuse and 10 goals and three assists against top-ranked Virginia.
Young Guns: A year ago the Blue Jay offense was a senior-laden group that was led by Paul Rabil, Kevin Huntley, Stephen Peyser and Michael Doneger, who combined for 108 goals and 34 assists. Fast forward to this season and the experience has been replaced by youth. Through seven games, 62 of the Blue Jays' 80 goals (77.5%) have been scored by players who will return next season, while 40 of the team's 50 assists (80.0%) have been accumulated by players with at least one year of eligibility remaining.
Defensive Notes of Interest:
Despite the loss, Johns Hopkins held North Carolina scoreless for stretches fo 13:18 and 11:08 last week.
Offensive Notes of Interest:
While the focus of any Dave Pietramala-coached team will always be defense, the Blue Jay offense has also been effective. Consider:
One-Goal Turnarounds: Despite one-goal losses in its last two outings, Johns Hopkins is 31-11 in one-goal games since Dave Pietramala took over in 2001. The Blue Jays have won 18 of their last 25 and 22 of their last 30 one-goal games. In the five seasons prior to Pietramala arriving (1996-2000) the Blue Jays were 5-8 in one-goal games.
More One-Goal Notes: The Blue Jays have come from behind to win 15 times during their last 18 one-goal wins. In 10 of those 15 come-from-behind one-goal wins the Blue Jays came back from a deficit of two goals or more. The latest of these come-from-behind one-goal wins came against Duke in the 2008 NCAA Tournament, when the Blue Jays erased a 2-1 second-quarter deficit.
Extra, Extra: Last week's loss at North Carolina in overtime was JHU's fourth straight defeat in extra time. Despite this, JHU is 13-6 all-time in overtime under head coach Dave Pietramala's guidance.
Players on the 2009 team who have scored game-winning goals in overtime during their career: Senior Brian Christopher scored 1:22 into OT against Loyola on May 6, 2006. Junior Michael Kimmel became the first freshman in school history to score an overtime goal in an NCAA Tournament game when he netted the game-winner one-minute into overtime against Notre Dame last season.
Evans, Drenan Named to Tewaaraton Watch List: Senior defenders Michael Evans and Matt Drenan were recently named to the 2009 Tewaaraton Watch List. The players on the list were nominaed by coaches across the country. Johns Hopkins produced the 2005 Tewaaraton Award winner (Kyle Harrison) and Paul Rabil was a finalist for the award in 2007 and 2008. The award is presented annually to the top male and famale lacrosse players in the country.
Durkin One of 25 Tewaaraton Nominees
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